Home > Uncategorized > What Technology Wants – Blog Post # 3

What Technology Wants – Blog Post # 3

In his book “What Technology Wants,” Kevin Kelly discusses the evolution of technology, and although he makes many broad claims, I think he also provides a lot of good arguments for the place that technology has and will have in our lives. I particularly enjoyed his discussion of whether or not technology is making us into better humans. He says, “ The technium is reinventing us, but does any of this complicated technology make us any better as humans? Are there any manifestations of human thought anywhere that can make men better?” (Kelly 347). He goes on to answer this question saying, “How can technology make a person better? Only in this way: by providing each person with chances. A chance to excel at the unique mixture of talents he or she was born with, a chance to encounter new ideas and new minds, a chance to be different from his or her own parents, a chance to create something his or her own” (348).

Technology really is just an opportunity for us. As much of an influence as it has on our lives, we have the ability to influence it right back. We are not strictly obedient to the power of technology. Kelly asserts that technology provides the innovation, resources, and tools necessary to make great changes, and this is how technology can make us better as humans. This assertion also means that we have a chance to use technology to create even worse problems in the world. Technology, then, is not inherently good or bad for us; rather, it is the way that we choose to use it that will determine if it aids or inhibits the good. Likewise, rhetoric is not something that we say is good or bad; we use it to determine what is good or bad. Both rhetoric and technology are essentially creative, and we can take them in any direction that we choose. In the same way that we can use rhetoric to make people better, such as by advancing ‘good’ causes, we can also use technology to do the same.

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